Family Promise rescues primarily first time homeless families from the streets and provides emergency shelter and basic needs in a program designed to assist their return to self-sufficiency. The program strives to keep the family together, including the family pet – their shelter includes a pet sanctuary, the first such program in Arizona.
You can volunteer to host an evening meal or to be an overnight chaperone at the host church, Bethany Lutheran.
Each month we partner with Grace Lutheran and Trinity Cathedral to help serve breakfast to 200-300 homeless people in downtown Phoenix at Grace Lutheran church. Email Erin LaHaye firstname.lastname@example.org to join us.
The basics on the breakfast are:
Please arrive by 6:15 am
We serve beginning at 7:30-8:15 am
Clean-up is one no later than 9:00 am–plenty of time to attend worship at Ascension
Training will be provided
Homeless ID Project’s mission is to assist people experiencing homelessness with replacing their critical identification as a first step to empower them to rebuild their lives, regain self-sufficiency, and restore self-esteem. Whether it is trying to get a job, access housing, receive medical treatment, obtain food, or enroll in school – none of those things are possible without ID.
In order to reach more people experiencing homelessness where they are, Homeless ID Project has created an outreach program to go out in the community with our services. Homeless ID Project currently provides services at 7 different sites throughout Maricopa County including: UMOM, Tumbleweed, Phoenix Dream Center, and Save the Family.
Thanks to the generous support of the congregation at Ascension Lutheran, we have been able to begin developing a new program that will combine technology with social services in order to reach more people where they are through an online resource.
Ascension supports Justa Center, a day resource center specifically designed to help those over the age of 55 find appropriate housing, employment, and other much-needed services.
Ascension’s Pocket Pals group sews quilts for Arizona’s foster children which number over 20,000 children. We sew quilts of all sizes, using every scrap of material as the cost is high, an average of $30 per quilt. We sew a large pocket on with a velcro closure so they have somewhere to put their few belongings when moved from one place to another. Also, a name tag is sewn on the pocket where their name is written once they receive the quilt. Our quilts always put a big smile on these sad and confused children.
There are currently four Lutheran churches involved- Ascension, Christ the Lord in Carefree, King of Glory in Tempe and Lord of Life in Sun City West. The group to date has sewn and donated 2052 quilts.
Ascension has been involved in refugee resettlement in many ways and continues to offer support to the Refugee Focus program of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, which re-settles 1,000 refugees in Arizona. About 80% are women and children, and each refugee undergoes an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process.
Ascension is also a partner of Abraham’s Tent, a collaboration of three congregations (Chandler Mosque, Temple Solel, and Ascension Lutheran) which was formed to assist families who are immigrating to the United States by setting up apartments with furniture and household items necessary to begin their life in their new home.
Ascension is an advocate of StreetLightUSA, a residential center in Arizona specializing in the healing of child sex trafficking and sexual trauma victims ages 11-17 in the USA.
The mission of StreetLightUSA® is to transition adolescent girls from trauma to triumph. StreetLightUSA® implements its mission through a three-tier strategy of Awareness, Prevention, and Direct Care, providing a healing and safe environment for adolescent girls age 11-17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking.
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest
Ascension supports Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Each year, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest provides:
- 350,000+ service hours to individuals at home
- Respite for more than 1,000 individuals in need
- Nearly 90,000 meals in Pima County
- Resettlement for more than 1,000 refugees in Maricopa and Pima Counties
- Temporary shelter for homeless women and case management services that help dozens secure housing, employment and education
- Food and vital resources for over 58,000 working poor (SNAP, rent and utility assistance, financial literacy)
- 170+ hours of parenting classes, 12,000 referrals to resources, and 1,500+ books to children under 5
- Loving and caring foster homes for children and adults with developmental disabilities
Luminaria Home Care
Ascension conducts an annual pet food drive to distribute to the Luminaria Home Care program of Lutheran Social Services. Luminaria Home Care provides quality care that enables seniors and individuals with disabilities to live at home and maintain their highest level of independence and keep their beloved pets.
Family SPOT Resource Centers
Family SPOT Resource Centers, in partnership with First Things First, provide families with children birth to five years old access to information and links to the resources they need to be confident and capable in their ability to support their child’s safety, health and overall well-being.
Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP)
I-HELP, through the assistance of the faith community, Mesa United Way, The City of Mesa and community-based organizations provides lodging, food, comfort, hope and opportunity for homeless women in Mesa and the East Valley.
In addition, I-HELP also provides other supportive services such as case management, clothing and employment services to homeless women. Women served through the program are encouraged to develop “Life Plans” in which they set attainable goals leading to a greater level of self-sufficiency.
Duet: Partners in Health & Aging
Ascension is a partner with Duet, helping older adults and their families cope with challenges related to aging. From getting groceries and rides to the doctor, to health promotion activities and support groups, DUET volunteers provide compassionate help.
DUET is a non-profit, interfaith organization that has been serving older adults in greater Phoenix since 1981.
Ascension is an advocate of one•n•ten, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. They provide youth with tools to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.
They create a safe space, mentally and physically, for youth ranging in age from 14 to 24 of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. They offer resources for healthy living and making healthy choices, as well as fun social networking opportunities that develop leadership skills.
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church Food Pantry
Ascension supports the Mount of Olives Food Closet at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Phoenix through donations of food collected in the manger at the back of the church as well as monetary assistance. Several local hunger agencies receive assistance from the Orpha Hoganson Endowment Fund, which distributes funds for local and world hunger. This money helps these agencies continue feeding and supporting the homeless.
Ascension Lutheran Church has been supporting Harmony Ministries, a mission in Haiti, for the past several years. Harmony was founded over 30 years ago by a Haitian born missionary, Pastor Luc Deratus. Pastor Luc serves the poorest of the poor at four mission sites, in one of the poorest slums in the capital Port au Prince, and three rural communities that have no electricity or running water. In addition to Christian congregations at all locations, Harmony operates accredited pre-K thru 6th grade schools at each site that are the only schools in their communities. It also maintains a health clinic and pharmacy in Port au Prince and provides periodic health screenings at the rural locations.
In the recent past several of our members have joined short term medical mission teams to provide health education and medical services at Harmony’s sites in Haiti. Our congregation has supported them thru in-kind donations of over-the-counter medicines and financial contributions for the purchase of prescription drugs.
Ascension also assists in meeting the needs of Gods’ people Pastor Luc serves financially. First, we sponsor a drive to Sponsor a Student in one of Harmony’s schools. It costs $75 to $100 per student per year to provide for their education. The second way is to underwrite some of the costs of purchasing prescription drugs. Harmony does not turn away children whose parents cannot pay a small tuition or patients who can’t pay for prescriptions.
Habitat for Humanity
Ascension is part of a coalition of Lutheran churches in the northeast Valley that builds Habitat for Humanity homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, a nonprofit Christian based organization that builds affordable homes for low income, working families that could not otherwise afford to own a home. Habitat partners with sponsoring organizations –churches, corporations and not for profit agencies — to provide the materials and volunteer labor to build a modest, affordable home. The family that will own the home is required to put in 400 hours of “sweat equity” labor to build their house and then repays the direct cost of the home via a zero interest mortgage with Habitat over 25 to 30 years. A home currently costs approximately $78,000 to $90,000 to build. Habitat has been building homes in the Valley since the 1980’s. Ascension volunteers are generally scheduled to work on a home 3 to 5 Saturday mornings January through May and our congregation also contributes funds to purchase building materials for it.
ELCA Good Gifts
ELCA Good Gifts
As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we believe that God is calling us into the world – together. And with generous, loving hands, we can make a difference.
ELCA Good Gifts go beyond regular congregational offerings to support the ministries of the ELCA that mean the most to you and your loved ones. Together, we can do more than we ever could alone, making a huge collective impact on the needs of our church and the world.